Personalisation: how retailers can get their piece of the pie

November 7th, 2018 by Azur Digital

Middle East customers are craving online personalisation

As more and more e-commerce websites are emerging in the region, consumers are increasingly turning to digital to search and purchase products – UAE, KSA and Egypt consumers spend in excess of 7 hours online daily; 3 of those being on social media according to Hootsuite(1). Digital is increasingly  changing customer expectation – in the UAE for example 89% of consumers are stating that they are more likely to buy from e-commerce platforms that personalise content to a unique user(2).

From browsing, search and purchase history through to wish lists and reviews, consumers leave a wealth of precious behavioral information that should be leveraged to create highly differentiated and rewarding shopping experiences. Yet in real life, Middle Eastern consumers are quite frequently exposed to irrelevant and poorly executed personalisation experiences.

Amazon is poised to capitalise on the absence of personalisation in the regional online landscape

With offline and mass media still representing the bulk of marketing spend in the region, brands haven’t yet realised the long-term benefits of personalisation such as an increase in the lifetime value of their customers. According to Kibo Commerce(3), if a brand doesn’t recommend a customised list of products in their marketing messages, 47% of consumers will move from the brand’s website to Amazon.

Examples of Amazon’s personalisation features
Examples of Amazon’s personalisation features

The marketplace is well known for its recommendation engine that, according to a McKinsey(4) study, generates 35% of its product sales through personalised marketing.

Considering the 10 years’ worth of regional customer transactions and preferences gained as part of’s acquisition by Amazon, online personalisation will undoubtedly be taken to a whole new level in the Middle East.

The road to personalisation for retailers is easier than ever

The rise of the new generation of MarTech solutions has made e-commerce personalisation far more accessible than it used to be. Cloud-based marketing services now enable businesses of all sizes to meaningfully enhance any stage of the customer journey with little capital investment. This represents a fantastic opportunity to differentiate and achieve superior performance in the online space.

In that respect MarTech solutions, which are powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), are particularly interesting. They can rapidly and cost-effectively demonstrate how personal interactions can ease the customer journey and drive solid performance, even for businesses with limited customer information and traffic volumes. For example, a conversational marketing platform such as iAdvize’s, enables targeted and contextualised chat with high-value online shoppers through the most pertinent touchpoints (e.g. onsite chat or Facebook Messenger). iAdvize clients report up to 10-fold conversion rate increase and as high as 30% basket size growth.

By choosing the right technological accelerator retailers can leverage their agility to create highly differentiated shopping experiences and drive the customer lifetime value with little capital and human resources.

Azur Digital optimisation process for rapid and successful personalisation campaigns:
This process enables rapidly kick starting data-driven marketing engagement with little investment. By initiating campaigns based on data at hand – even when it is imperfect and incomplete – and experimenting across different target audiences and channels, it allows a company to iteratively refine the quality of the customer data and it turn, elevates the relevance of your customer communications and the return on your campaigns.


Omnichannel personalization: why and how to get it right, Jan 2018, Azur Digital via

(1) Time spent on social media & Time spent on the Internet, Jan 2018, Hootsuite

(2) E-Commerce Personalisation’ Becoming a Must for UAE Consumers: Report, 2015, The Arabian Marketer

(3) The State of Omnichannel Commerce, Kibo 2017

(4) How retailers can keep up with consumers, McKinsey 2013